Instead, we sit there, unable to switch our brains off and watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory on our phones until 3 am. It’s a very cruel trick our body plays on us; we know it needs sleep and yet it keeps that rejuvenating rest just out of our reach. Happily, you can actually teach yourself to sleep better without relying on pills. The best place to start is Dr. Katrin Schubert’s fascinating new book. entitled Improve Sleep: 20 Quick Techniques.
Schubert purports in the book that the healthiest gift you can give your body is a good night’s sleep. To that end, she describes various tips and strategies that make it far easier to fall asleep. My clients who have been trying Schubert’s techniques report that they are enjoying their best sleep ever. A high-energy 33 year-old female accountant said, “You know, I actually fall asleep when I climb into bed now rather than browsing Facebook for ex-lovers or stressing out all night about a meeting the next day.” Improve Sleep has a ton of fantastic advice has a a tremendous amount of suggestions to cure insomnia and restlessness.
Six Tips for Falling Asleep Faster
- Get at least 20 minutes of natural sunlight daily. Light exposure during the day helps your body follow a normal sleep-and-wake cycle. Natural sunlight regulates the production and release of melatonin, the hormone excreted at night to induce the natural sleep cycle.
- Reduce your fluid intake in the evening. Drinking water throughout the day is vital for your body’s health. Consuming liquids later in the evening can disrupt your sleep. You will feel more rested in the morning if you stop getting up multiple times at night to urinate. Yes, you should drink more water throughout the day but be do mindful when you are drinking that water. Do you consume liquids late in the day and cannot sleep through the night because you put regularly get up to empty your bladder? If so, you might have found a very easy way to boost the quality of your sleep.
- Reduce exposure to white and/or blue light sources at least two hours before bedtime. So, for the best night’s sleep, when bedtime draws nigh, trade in your hours of screen time for reading an actual book. Screens on TVs, laptops and smartphones emit the types of light that will keep you up. Instead of staring at a screen, unwind with relaxation or breathing exercises, soft and relaxing music, or just hang out with your loved ones. Bright white-blue lights keep us wired so avoid them close to bedtime.
- Take magnesium! Magnesium promotes sleep in so many ways. It helps relax your muscles and brain. While adding a magnesium supplement to your routine is helpful, so is just mindfully adding some magnesium-rich foods to your diet. Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, leafy green vegetables, avocados, and bananas all contain high levels of this vital mineral. Try adding epsom salts to your bath to expose your body to magnesium late in the day and prepare yourself for a good night’s rest.
- Keep cortisol levels low. Your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. High stress levels elevate our cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol in our bodies keep us awake because cortisol’s release is a way our bodies enable alertness. As night approaches, manage your cortisol levels by reducing your overall stress. Avoid listening to the news, watching thrillers and arguing with your spouse towards day’s end. Drifting off into dreamland with a body full of cortisol is simply impossible.
- Take a nap. Fatigue will stop you from sleeping well at night. A short rest or nap will rejuvenate you and give you enough energy to finish your day. Researchers and nap lovers recommend naps of no longer than 20 minutes, otherwise you may feel groggy afterward.